Relevant Cases

 in Ibiza

Preventing land expropriation in Ibiza

The San Juan Bautista City Council, located in the island of Ibiza (known in Catalonian and officially as Sant Joan de Labritja) notified the owner of a rural land lot the expropriation of a part of it in order to locate the new municipal cemetery; which represented a severe blow for any possible touristic developments due to a five hundred meters perimeter building limitation.

To that date, any precedents of having an expropriation annulled on the grounds of not being necessary in order to achieve its public utility aims, were not usual, and thus, the lawyer traveled to Ibiza to, jointly with the lot’s owner, conduct a thorough examination of the characteristics of the land lot to be expropriated, as well as the characteristics of the area of the municipality, its facilities, etc. Following US case law criteria for costs-benefits analysis and French State Council case law on costs-benefits balance in compulsory expropriations, we argued that this expropriation was not necessary since the City Council already owned unused land, and that expropiation wasn’t appropriate in order to achieve its public utility aims due to the lack of access walkways or roads to the land plot where the cemetery was to be built.

Both the Balearic Islands Superior Court of Justice and the Supreme Court (ROJ: STS 7179/1994 – ECLI:ES:TS:1994:7179; RJ 1994\10467 took this argumentation into consideration and annulled the expropriation, releasing the land lot.